Hyetal was already establishing himself as a recognised producer way before his 2011 debut, Broadcast, thanks to collaborations with Julio Bashmore (in Velour) and a joint release with Peverelist. Using a plethora of reference points such as dream pop and modern hip-hop production, his first album won him plenty of acclaim. Now signed to True Panther Sounds, his follow-up Modern Worship sees him retain the qualities that won him a legion of supporters whilst exploring new territory.
Hyetal's sophomore follow-up to his 2011 debut album, Broadcast, lightly builds upon its predecessor's dark, developed beats with layers of intelligent, hazy melodies and craft. Whilst still displaying his love for '80s synths on the opener "Forefathers," the album inhabits more intrinsic influences and sees the Bristol-based artist involve vocals to dreamy effect. This is heard on the almost Elizabeth Fraser-esque delivery of guest vocalist Alison Garner on the track "The City Is Ours." The rest of the record seems to plays itself out like a vintage video game throwback.
While Hyetal heralds from Bristol’s once-booming dubstep scene, his sound is hardly about the blow of his bass. David Corney’s production style pulls drum patterns from hip-hop and micro-genres of dance, and grooves along the sort of 1980s synth palette that inspires skipping wanderlust instead of dark-cornered club moves. In interviews the DJ earnestly explains that the exploratory landscapes found in his music are a direct result of specific visions; his 2011 solo debut Broadcast was fashioned around the reverberant sounds of an empty city at night.
Hyetal's first LP, Broadcast, fell somewhere between the dubstep he'd put out on Punch Drunk and the house music he'd made with Julio Bashmore as Velour. It also belonged somewhere beyond the edge of the dance floor, with shuddering beats and melodic arrangements that would have been suffocated by club speakers but floated airily through headphones. Other influences came through as well: the soundtracks of John Carpenter, the '70s krautrock of Tangerine Dream and the shoegaze of Cocteau Twins, which gave tracks like "Phoenix" and "Diamond Islands" a hazy timbre.Although it uses many of the same elements, Modern Worship snaps everything into sharper definition.
I’ve often thought of David Corney, aka Hyetal, as part of the second tier of Bristol producers: a worthy participant in the city’s fertile scene who never really achieved the wider acclaim of some of his peers. On his emergence in 2009, Corney’s use of playful videogame melodics in a dubstep context suggested a loose affiliation with the likes of Joker and Gemmy. But Corney’s left-of-centre take on the form didn’t elicit a (purple) wow so much as a whimper, his productions often displaying an intriguingly forlorn, downcast quality.